2019 indigenous Early Childhood Conference GUEST Speakers

Aunty Jeanette Singleton
Traditional Elder
Yirrganydji Gurabana Aboriginal Corporation 

Aunty Jeanette Singleton is a Yirrganydji woman from Yorkeys Knob and a respected traditional elder of the Yirrganydji people. Aunty Jeanette has been extensively involved as a leader within the indigenous affairs of Far North Queensland and served as chair of the Irukandji Aboriginal Corporation, Yirrganydji Gurabana Aboriginal Corporation as well as Director of Cairns District Regional Housing.

Aunty Geraldine Atkinson

President

Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc

 

Aunty Geraldine Atkinson is a Bangerang/Wiradjuri woman who has devoted her career to expanding the possibilities available to Koorie people through education. For over 40 years, Aunty Geraldine has been a significant presence in the Koorie and wider Victorian community. Geraldine’s career in education began when she took up the position of Teacher’s Aide in 1976. Since then Geraldine has gained experience across all sectors of education, leading to her current role as President of the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI), a position she has held since 1999. As a community leader Geraldine has worked hard to ensure that real progress is made for Koorie people. Geraldine has made a substantial impact in the area of early childhood, and has always regarded education as being the best instrument of progress for Koorie people. Geraldine represents VAEAI at local, state and national level, providing her expertise in early childhood to numerous committees including: the Premier’s Advisory Council Childcare (under Premier Steve Bracks, from 2003-04); National Childcare Accreditation Council 2005-2011; National Children’s Services Forum (Early Childhood Australia); and the Early Childhood Australia Reconciliation Committee. Geraldine is also the Deputy Chair of the Secretariat National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) and the Chair of Lulla’s Children and Family Centre in Shepparton. In her roles in early childhood, Geraldine has continued to assert VAEAI’s position that child care and kindergarten for Koorie children should be culturally appropriate, and welcoming of and accessible to Koorie families in order to boost participation and support the successful transition of Koorie children into school. Most recently, Geraldine was inducted into the 2018 Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll as recognition for all her work and the important contributions she has made to Indigenous education.

AunTy cheri yavu-kama-harathuniaN

CHAPLAIN, DIRECTOR & CULTURAL OFFICER

Indigenous Wellbeing Centre QLD

 

Aunty Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian holds a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Indigenous and Community Health as well as Certificates in Small Business Development and Minister of Religion. She is a member of State and Local Social Justice Committees related to her portfolios and serves as a Director of several not-for profit Aboriginal organisations. Aunty Cheri along with her husband, Uncle Ara developed and implemented the Transformational Management Model that frames all operations of IWC, a non-profit Aboriginal organization that provides centralised management and administration across 27 programs. In 2013, Aunty Cheri was awarded the International Professional of the Year for Spiritual and Social Services by the World Wide Who’s Who.  In 2016, IWC awarded her the Prestigious Ambassadorial Award for her Professional Leadership Integrity. In her spare time, Aunty Cheri studies ancient Greek and Hebrew languages to better understand sacred writings.  She says her greatest achievement has been to raise her two children to become social and cultural activists for Aboriginal aspirations, who are contributing members to society and the Aboriginal communities, in which they live. 

Diana RoggenbuckE 

Smiles 4 Miles coordinator & Project Manager 

Eastern Metropolitan Region Oral Health Network 

 

Diana Roggenbucke is the Smiles 4 Miles coordinator at EACH, as well as the Oral Health Project Manager for EMROHN (Eastern Metropolitan Region Oral Health Network). Smiles 4 Miles is a two year award program funded by Dental Health Services Victoria that works in partnership with Community Health Services to improve the oral health of preschool aged children in the community. I have been involved with the Smiles 4 Miles program since July 2012.  When Diana initially took over the role of Smiles 4 Miles Coordinator, there were 7 Preschools involved in the program, today more than 97 preschools involved and the program serves 6700 children and their families. In 2016, Diana was awarded the Oral Health Champion award by Dental Health Services Victoria for her work in the Early Childhood sector.  She sit on many working groups, such as the Smiles 4 Miles State Wide Reference Group, the Melbourne Metro Peer Support Cluster group, the PVAWC (Prevention of Violence against Women and Children) working group, the 16 days of Activism working group, the Early Learning Year Advisory Committee at Knox City Council and the Child safe Working Group at EACH. Diana serves as the secretary for the MVC boxing Association and write for all the community Newspapers of Knox as well as having a regular column in the Ferntree Gully News. As a mother of three teenage children, Diana understands how challenging it can be to ensure that our children not only eat a healthy diet, but maintain good oral health as well.  Her aim is to improve the oral health statics in her region, with a main focus on those most at risk.

Olwen Forker

paediatric speech pathologist & director

BackChat Speech Pathology

Olwen Forker is a mum to 3 busy boys and paediatric speech pathologist. She is the director of BackChat Speech Pathology and her clinical area of specialty privately is working with children with complex developmental conditions (Executive Function issues; ADHD, ADD, Dyslexia, FASD) that struggle with language-Reading acquisition. In this area her particular interest is in Reading disorders. Olwen also works extensively with children from disadvantaged backgrounds, including children in care. She runs a clinic west of Brisbane in one of Australia’s most disadvantaged areas. Olwen works with many wonderful Indigenous families in this clinic where she applies her clinic’s mantra of access, opportunity and repetition so every child can receive a high quality service aimed at improving language but most significantly their Reading level. Olwen is a well-known advocate in the education and SLP field for highlighting the increasing disadvantage in Australia. 

Fiona Werle 

Chief Executive Officer 

Opengate Institute

Fiona Werle is CEO of Opengate Institute, advocates for the Sandtray therapy in Australia. Her team strive to achieve a united industry, in learning, education and training and aims to support all therapists current and future to have access to good research based, government approved education in Sandtray techniques. Fiona recently developed a Sandtray Play Work, using sand play to work with children to impact the imagination and thinking through story telling. Sandtray Play Work is ideal in working with children of various linguistic abilities, socio-economic, emotional and behavioural abilities. As a nonverbal or verbal form of communication children learn skills that they bring into the classrooms. Fiona has written two books on Sandtray therapy, she is also a professional Supervisor Counselling and Sandtray therapy. She currently runs a private Counselling and Sandtray therapy practice, in Richmond NSW. NDIS registered working with clients with disabilities, other clients include Challenge Foster Care and FACS. Fiona runs workshops and training in Sandtray therapy and Sandtray Play Work (an education-based form of learning through play). Fiona is a speaker and advocate for the whole industry that uses sand as a method of therapy and is always delighted to train the trainers who are already experts iin their own field.

Raelene Tie

Oral Health Services Manager

Outer East Primary Health – EACH

Raelene started working in the health sector while studying a double degree at University, however her degrees were not related to health, so she further went back and completed a Diploma of Management through Eastern Health and Box Hill Institute.

Raelene has spent majority of her career working in the hospital environment in management roles, mostly in acute Emergency Departments and has a passion for patient experience, data analysis and project management redesign. 

She was also part of the management team at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne for four years in Primary Care before commencing her current role as Oral Health Program Manager at EACH in 2017.

EACH currently has two oral health sites in Ferntree Gully and Ringwood with a total of seventeen dental chairs and 1 mobile dental van which services the Aboriginal community centre at HISCA and Worowa Aboriginal Girls College in Healesville.

Her dedication and commitment to both her staff and clients is exemplary, she is a passionate and inspiring leader with a genuine desire to improve oral health outcomes.

Catherine Lloyd-Johnsen  

PhD student Department of Paediatrics  University of Melbourne

 

Cat Lloyd-Johnsen is a first year PhD student with the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne. Her doctoral research tests the feasibility and community acceptability of establishing a data resource by linking health and education datasets for a cohort of Aboriginal children (birth to school entry) in Central Australia. The aim is to generate an enriched suite of data that provides researchers, health services providers and community stakeholders with an opportunity to improve the quality of health care for Aboriginal children over the life course in real time. Cat has over 9 years of experience in early childhood research and she holds a Masters of Public Health (2010) from the University of Melbourne and a Masters of Philosophy in Social Change from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway (2004). 

 

Dr. Joseph B. Stone
Clinical psychologist
indigenous development specialist

Joseph B. Stone, PhD. Is an Amskapi-pikuni ceremonialist and traditionalist and member of the OKKAN (Sundance), the Last Star Thunder Medicine Pipe and Beaver Lodge.  He is a clinical psychologist and with his partner, Amber Logan, owner of Indigenous Development Specialists of Havelock North, New Zealand.  Dr. Stone works at the Napier Family Centre in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.  He has clinical experience with adult prisoners and corrections and juvenile justice in both New Zealand and USA.  He is affiliated with the National Centre on Trauma and Project Making Medicine – Indian Health Service Assessment and Treatment of Child Abuse at Oklahoma State University. He has presented to and served as consultant to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs of Native Youth Suicide.  Joseph's publications include articles on trauma, suicide, and other cultural / behavioural issues. Joseph B. Stone, PhD. Is an Amskapi-pikuni ceremonialist and traditionalist and member of the OKKAN (Sundance), the Last Star Thunder Medicine Pipe and Beaver Lodge.  He is a clinical psychologist and with his partner, Amber Logan, owner of Indigenous Development Specialists of Havelock North, New Zealand.  Dr. Stone works at the Napier Family Centre in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.  He has clinical experience with adult prisoners and corrections and juvenile justice in both New Zealand and USA.  He is affiliated with the National Centre on Trauma and Project Making Medicine – Indian Health Service Assessment and Treatment of Child Abuse at Oklahoma State University. He has presented to and served as consultant to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs of Native Youth Suicide.  Joseph's publications include articles on trauma, suicide, and other cultural / behavioural issues. 

​​KATHRYN MARTIN

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

LIFETEC AUSTRALIA

 

Kathryn Martin is an Aboriginal Occupational Therapist who works at LifeTec Australia.  She enjoys working collaboratively with clients and their families to find the right assistive technology and complex home modification solutions. Prior to working at LifeTec, Kathryn worked for 4 years with people who have experienced vision loss. Kathryn graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from University of Queensland in 2013 and more recently has completed Advanced Home Modification training. Kathryn is a member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Occupational Therapy Network (ATSIOTN) has a passion for improving access to equipment and home modification services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Elizabeth (Anne) Russell

Founder

Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorders Association

Anne is the founder of the Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorders Association (rffada) and is the birth mother of two children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Her youngest son, who is now an adult, has full FAS. Anne has lobbied extensively on both a state and national level to raise awareness about FASD issues since 2000. She has written three books on FASD and her family’s journey, the first books on FASD published in Australia. Anne brings a unique perspective to the education and training/professional development workshops she delivers. Parents, carers, drug and alcohol workers, disability workers, mental health workers, medical practitioners, midwives and other various community organisations throughout Australia have the advantage of listening to someone who speaks with brutal honesty from direct experience on the arduous journey a parent makes because the risks of alcohol use in pregnancy were not advised. Anne’s aim is to enlighten the community and to increase public awareness that the drink they choose might seem innocuous but is nevertheless, very real.

TO BE CONTINUED........